Bethesda revealed today a considerable amount of information regarding DOOM's closed beta, including the dates it will be available - DOOM's closed beta will begin on March 31st, 2016 to those eligible for access and end on April 3rd. Additionally, despite the game's roots as a singleplayer FPS, the beta will only consist of a few modes of DOOM's new multiplayer mode.
The DOOM website was updated today to reveal a large host of new information regarding the game's beta, available March 31st on PC, PS4 or Xbox One to anyone who digitally pre-ordered MachineGames' Wolfenstein: The New Order or bought the game at retail during a certain time period after release. The beta is expected to open to eligible players at 10:00pm EST on the 31st of March and end at 11:59pm EST on the 3rd of Arpil. Bethesda's YouTube channel also released a new trailer, showing footage of the available multiplayer modes and maps:
Based on the newly released trailer, the multiplayer for DOOM seems to more closely resemble an arena shooter than a standard FPS, borrowing elements from games such as Quake and Unreal Tournament - indeed, in the trailer players can be seen teleporting, collecting carefully placed weapons across the map and boosting to higher areas, which may be a very welcome development for fans of id Software's earlier multiplayer ventures. In fact, DOOM may prove to be one of the only true AAA arena shooters to be made available on the PC in recent years, alongside Epic Games' new Unreal Tournament title, currently in pre-alpha.
DOOM's beta will feature only two of the multiplayer maps as well as two game modes: a 6v6 deathmatch as well as an additional king-of-the-hill mode known called 'Warpath'. The beta will not feature any singleplayer content, the game's in-game level editor (known as SnapMap), or many of the weapons available in the final game. Here is the complete list of available features in the beta, according to Bethesda:
- Maps: Heatwave and Infernal
- Game Modes: 6v6 Team Deathmatch and Warpath
- Demon: Revenant (assumed to be a playable class available under certain conditions)
- Weapons: Rocket Launcher, Plasma Rifle, Super Shotgun, Vortex Rifle, Static Rifle, Heavy Assault Rifle, and Lightning Gun
- Power Weapons: Gauss Cannon
- Equipment: Frag Grenade, Personal Teleporter, Siphon Grenade
PC players who intend to participate in the beta may also be interested to see the beta's newly released minimum and recommended hardware specifications, which Bethesda has made very clear may not represent those required for the final game. Of note is that to play the game at 1080p resolution, Bethesda recommends a GTX 970 / Radeon R9 290 (both 4GB) graphics card or higher -this appears to be the increasingly popular standard for new AAA PC games, given that many new releases such as Far Cry Primal and Quantum Break list similar specs, potentially indicating an end to the relative stagnation seen in graphics card requirements in recent years.
Still, the minimum graphics card spec is considerably lower, as a GTX 670 / Radeon HD 7870 (both 2GB) is recommended for a 720p experience. These requirements don't list what settings or FPS these specifications are targeted at and we have contacted them for clarification on those points. Perhaps more interesting however is the listed 8GB RAM requirement to play the game at all, as well as complete lack of support for the GTX 750Ti and mobile graphics cards, such as those found in laptops. While Bethesda has two months before their May 13th release date to further optimize DOOM, a recent Steam hardware survey shows that only around 48.72% of Steam users have access to 8GB of RAM or upwards, indicating that some eligible players may be left unable to run the beta on their systems. A game's optimization typically happens nearing the end of its development, however, so these restrictions may not appear in the final game to this degree.
DOOM's beta will have no associated NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), so feel free to share images, footage, and stream the game starting March 31st. If you purchased Wolfenstein: The New Order at retail at any point, or digitally on or before May 26, 2014, you may be eligible for access to DOOM's closed beta - check this page on the Wolfenstein series' website for availability and how to redeem your code.